Weekly Update

Are we having fun at Bike Week?

Craig Jackson from Budget Bikes provides bike repairs at Crazy Legs Plaza

We’ve been having a blast at the Bike Week events so far, and there is so much more to come.

On Saturday, West side alders and constituents had a chance to look at both new infrastructure and locations where things were not so great for biking. There was also a gathering to test out cargo bikes. And of course, the Trek Pride Ride in partnership with the Flamingos game. 

Cargo bike demonstration and testing

Sunday, a few of us went on a signal and detection tour to see all the nerdy things the city is doing to make it easier and safer to get across the street on bike routes. Thanks, Jerry Schippa!

Jerry Schippa demonstrates where a near-side bike signal would be installed

The week ahead

Before we get into all the upcoming events for Bike Week, there is one city meeting of interest to bicyclists. Wednesday, the Transportation Commission meets and has an agenda item labeled, “Approving roadway geometry for the reconstruction of John Nolen Drive from North Shore Drive to Lakeside Street.”  It is unclear as of this writing whether this is the final approval of the North Shore Dr intersection. TC meets online. If you want to comment or watch the meeting, instructions are at the link above.

On to Bike Week!

And there are so many more events to check out. We know you’ll find something fun every day.

Madison Bikes board members love to meet people in person and chat about what’s on your mind, so please say hello at the events.

In case you haven’t peeked at the schedule – have we not reminded you enough? – you can take a look here.

Just a few of the events coming up:

Monday there are two morning commuter stations, two happy hour events, and a class to teach adults how to ride.

Tuesday features a ton of commuter stations in both the morning and the afternoon all across the city, a free sample of natural deodorant at the Cheddar Bacon Waffles event, and a chance to try out the bike racks on buses (and maybe pick up a pass for a couple of free bus rides.) There is also a social ride leaving from Olbrich Park.

Wednesday is the mayoral press conference on the Monona Terrace plaza at Wilson St, plus a chance to join a ride to the event. There is also a social ride geared toward seniors in Fitchburg and a class at Centro Hispano to help people feel more comfortable biking around town. And of course, lots of places to get yummy treats.

Thursday has too many to list. Classes, social rides in the morning and evening, commuter stations, a chance to try mountain biking, and places to get your bike repaired. Oh, and a new beer launch to celebrate Bike Week.

Friday, of course, will have a big party in Brittingham Park – all ages welcome. There are also more commuter stations and bike repair locations. And Marquette Middle School students will have a coffee stop and discussion of path etiquette – something that has been a hot topic on our Community Page recently. 

Saturday we finish the week with a class on bike touring, bikepacking, and how to travel by bike. And one final social ride, this one leaving from the Pinney Library and especially geared to families. 

Whew. That’s a lot. See you out there!

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Weekly Update

John Nolen intersection, Greenbush Safe Streets, and a Bike Week preview

A cute dog called Gigi in a backpack of someone riding a bike on the Cap City trail at Fair Oaks

I hope everybody is enjoying the long weekend. Because of the holiday, this will be a short update.

John Nolen Drive

The design for the rebuilt John Nolen Drive intersection as North Shore Drive was on the Transportation Commission’s agenda last week. A lot of people had submitted written comments in favor of an underpass solution (if you haven’t done so already, read our board member Craig’s post in support of an underpass). But staff made clear that an underpass was not within the scope of the current project and the focus of the meeting was about the at-grade crossing options. Staff presented two options: One that includes a “channelized right turn” (commonly known as a slip lane or multi-stage crossing, “Alt 2”) and a simpler intersection design with direct crossings (“Alt 4”). Neither option would preclude a future underpass.

Alt 2, the design options with channelized right turns, which was ultimately recommended by the Commission
Alt 4B, the less complex intersection design

Both designs had advantages and disadvantages for people walking, biking, and rolling across the intersection in terms of how long it will take to cross, how long one has to wait, and how safe the crossing will likely be. In the end, the Transportation Commission recommended moving forward with the channelized right turn option. Staff and consultants will now work on the details of that design option and bring it back to the Transportation Commission.

Greenbush Safe Street Meeting

The City will be hosting another neighborhood Safe Streets meeting on Wednesday from 6 to 7:30pm.

Streets in the Greenbush Neighborhood have been identified for consideration of safety improvements and improving connections for walking and biking. Streets identified include Drake St and Mills St. This meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss changes on Randall Ave to support the new Metro Transit Route including changes to the traffic calming circle at Vilas Ave and parking changes near the circle.

The meeting is virtual and you can register here:

There is also on option to provide written feedback on safety concerns in the area:

Madison Bike Week preview

Bike Week is less than a week away! If I’m counting correctly, we are up to 50 events! New events keep coming in, and so if you haven’t checked the full schedule in a while, go take a look:

We have a great mix of events that have been around for many years and new events at new locations. Madison Bikes is hosting a few events:

  • On Saturday (June 2), our board member Craig and Alder John Duncan will go on a far west bike infrastructure tour
  • On Tuesday, we’re teaming up with Curbside Cycles and the University Hill Farms Neighborhood Association for an afternoon Bike Station at Fire Station #9 (Regent and Midvale)
  • On Wednesday morning, join us for a ride with the mayor and a press conference. Followed by a post-ride Coffee on the Square at our wonderful sponsors Wonderstate Coffee
  • On Thursday, we ride to Paoli to fetch a keg of beer for…
  • …the Friday Madison Bike Week Party at Brittingham Park!

Again, check out the full schedule — I don’t think we’ve had this many events since before the pandemic! Madison Bike Week is a community effort. All this wouldn’t be possible without the support from local businesses, community groups, city staff, volunteers, our great board. And our awesome sponsors!

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Weekly Update

Gear Up for Madison Bike Week: Volunteer, Engage, and Ride On!

A cyclist rides along the streets of the lake loop in Monona.
A cyclist rides along the streets of the lake loop in Monona | Photo by Christo Alexander

Welcome to another Madison Bikes weekly update! Here’s a few things you need to know about biking in Madison this week:

Wanted: Bike Week Volunteers

Bike Week is coming soon, June 3-10, and Madison Bikes is looking for volunteers! If you’re interested, we would love for you to sign up on our form here. Additionally, if you’d like to learn more and meet with the Madison Bikes crew, join us at Working Draft on Monday, May 22nd at 6-7:30 PM for a Bike Week Volunteer Open House. Did we mention there will be pizza?? Please RSVP on our Facebook event if you plan to attend. See you there!

Transportation Commission

In the May 8th weekly update, we mentioned a proposed change to an ordinance stating how members of the Transportation Commission are appointed. As of the 5/16 meeting, the following language was adopted: “The Mayor shall appoint members who meet the following requirements to the highest extent practicable… one (1) member whose primary mode of transportation in the City is the bicycle.” With the updated language, it will still be a goal to have a member whose primary mode of transportation is cycling, but it’s now stated with less firm language and more room for interpretation.

The Transportation Commission will meet again Wednesday, May 24th at 5pm. On the agenda are some important topics including an update on the transit network redesign. Bus routes are changing June 11th, so you’ll want to stay informed on how your commute could change. Also on the agenda is a session for the John Nolen Drive project where the design alternatives will be presented to commission members. You can learn more and watch the meeting online here.

Construction Photos

Construction of the University Bay Drive overpass is underway and we wanted to share some progress pics! You can see from the photos that the piers for the overpass are going up on the West side of the road. The project is still scheduled to run through 10/01/23.

And here’s a bonus pic of the progress on the Atwood Ave bike path. From the plans: “A 15-foot wide path with adjacent sidewalk will be constructed along the south side of Atwood Avenue from Oakridge Avenue to Dennett Drive.” The Atwood Ave reconstruction is scheduled to run through Fall 2023.

A black asphalt path under construction alongside Atwood Avenue, which is torn up to gravel with some curbs installed.
The new path under construction South of Atwood Ave at the Walter St. intersection.

Mark Your Calendar: Bike Week Events

Madison Bike Week is right around the corner and events are filling up the schedule fast! Take a look and plan your week so you can take advantage of as many awesome events as possible. We can’t wait to see you out there!

As the weather warms up and our paths get busier, remember to be an ambassador for cycling and be welcoming to beginners. The more users of bike infrastructure there are out there, regardless of the type of bike (or skateboard, rollerblades, etc.) they ride, the fewer cars there are on the road. Get out there and enjoy!

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Action Alert In Depth

The Time is Now for a John Nolen Drive Underpass

(disclaimer: this is a personal blog and not an official position of Madison Bikes)

Last fall, Bicyclist Thomas Heninger was killed as he crossed John Nolen Drive by a distracted driver racing 60+ mph to beat a red light. His death is an exclamation mark on just how dangerous the grade crossings are at North Shore Dr and Broom St. That’s something we bicyclists know all about.

Thankfully just groceries. 2020. Photo: Tom Wilson
Car crossing slip lane against “No right turn” light. Sep 2022. Photo: Kai Mast
Slip lane knock-down. Aug 2019. Photo: Chris Collins

Danger aside, almost more impactful are the daily inconveniences of the grade crossings: tight staging areas, multiple “refuge” islands, lengthy wait times, slip lanes, complex & confusing signaling, uneven railroad tracks, and, of course, the noise and smell of 50,000 daily cars and trucks. To many, the North Shore Dr and Broom St crossings are an ordeal best avoided.

It is time to build an underpass so that bikers and pedestrians can have safe and unimpeded movement between the Lake Monona waterfront and the City’s interior.

An underpass is not a new idea, but it is a challenging one.

Why Now?

  • The City’s John Nolen Drive (JND) Reconstruction project is in full swing, and the concrete poured will shape the causeway and southern Law Park for 30+ years. When City engineers brought up various crossing ideas at a recent public information meeting, the underpass concept received, by far, the most support. If this project moves forward without an underpass, it will be nearly impossible to add one later for reasons explained below.
  • The City itself recommended an underpass as a long-term solution in 2017’s Blair/John Nolen Drive Corridor Study
  • Engineer Ron Shutvet independently researched the technical feasibility of two underpass concepts in the Dane County Master Plan Collaborative 2011 & 2017. His designs are practical and innovative.
  • In the Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge, two of the three designs called for underpasses in this area. One called it a top priority. With the next steps of the Challenge, Madison’s JND project engineers will have access to technical and aesthetic expertise of a world-class urban design firm to build an underpass that Madison can be proud of.
  • The City’s long-discussed plan for two-way cycletrack along Wilson Street is now kicking off. That new path will provide the gentlest climb from the lakefront up to Monona Terrace and the Capitol Square. This new path needs a low-stress connection to the path along John Nolen Drive.

What are the Obstacles?

  • Water. A tunnel under today’s John Nolen Drive would be 3.5′ below current lake level and 6′ below the high water of 2018. I’m told it is still possible, but only with careful engineering and costly pumps.
    The workaround is to raise the streets! The City’s 2017 JND/Blair corridor study did just that, raising JND by the bare minimum of 2′. Ron Shutvet’s concepts went farther, raising the streets 6-7′, raising the railroad 4′, and also realigning the tracks. These are not far-fetched ideas. Every part of Law Park’s surface is man-made and both the road and the railroad tracks have changed many times over the last century. There’s no reason we can’t do it again to create a better, safer, and friendlier waterfront.
  • Multiple jurisdictions. Possibly the biggest obstacle is that a tunnel would involve State DOT highway, State DOT Railroad, and the State DNR. To City engineers, such multi-jurisdictional projects are hassles, adding meetings and extending timelines by months or years.
    That’s a poor excuse not to get this done! The City works with the State all the time on Hwy 151 and beltline projects. Passenger rail will require Federal coordination. Just a few years ago, County, State, and Federal agencies successfully worked together to realign the Canadian Pacific railroad tracks near the airport. When the need is there — and the underpass is a top need — multiple jurisdictions can work together to get the job done.
  • Money. An underpass will cost several million dollars, and it is not currently funded. Thanks to the $15M Federal grant secured last month for the John Nolen Drive project, the City now has much more freedom to explore underpass concepts.
    Overall, the underpass cost is also low compared to the value it brings to the City, the Bassett Neighborhood, non-motorized transport, and recreation opportunities. It would immediately become the main way to reach the lakefront from campus or anywhere south or west of the Capitol, shaving minutes off every bike/ped journey. It would also achieve many of the lofty goals of the Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge at a fraction of the price.
  • Time. The City hopes to have a final JND causeway design in 2024 and do construction in 2026. An underpass would likely delay that schedule. I feel it’s worth it. As mentioned earlier, if reconstruction proceeds without an underpass, it’s almost certain that none will ever be built.

Does an Underpass Have Other Benefits?

  • Street-level crossings would still be needed but could be engineered to a more car-friendly standard, meaning less delay to drivers, less idling, better air quality, and less acceleration & braking noise.
  • One of Ron Shutvet’s options includes stormwater filtration. All three Lake Monona Waterfront Design Challenge firms also included stormwater management to reduce the amount of pollution reaching Lake Monona.
  • One of Ron Shutvet’s options also realigns the railroad tracks so that Broom St only has a single track crossing instead of two. This simplifies our streets and enlarges Brittingham Park 2.
  • Raising JND where its causeway meets North Shore Drive might allow for higher boat clearance into Monona Bay, which could be helpful during high water events like 2018.
  • The 4-acre “Brittingham Park 2” west of JND with the courts and dog exercise area is difficult to reach and lightly used. An underpass would seamlessly connect it to the lake, increasing its exposure and making it a good place for amenities sought by lakefront visitors such as playgrounds, picnic areas, bathrooms, etc.
  • Although this is a bicycling blog, an underpass would naturally benefit pedestrians of all types and especially people who have mobility challenges. My wheelchair-bound mother lives on West Main St. I pushed her across the Broom St crossing — two traffic islands, six ramps, two sets of railroad tracks with uneven pavement, three signal phases, and cars whizzing by in front and behind us non-stop; I will never do that again.

For an exhaustive list of underpass pros & cons, please see Ron Shutvet’s Master Plan Collaborative document.

Wouldn’t an Overpass be Better?

To clear the railroad tracks, an overpass would need to be 50% longer and almost twice as high as the current bridge over East Washington near Starkweather Creek. It would eat up much of Law Park, block views, have long ramps, and add ½ mile and 30′ of climbing to anyone’s journey. At a JND public information meeting, a majority of attendees said they would take a street-level crossing rather than use such a bridge.

Some attendees did express concern that underpasses can be dark, wet, unsafe places, especially at night. The hope is that any John Nolen Drive underpass will be a showpiece of Madison, acting more of a natural corridor than an out-of-the-way tunnel. The City has experience in this, and underpasses built in the past decade under Verona Rd and Gammon Rd are wide and inviting (see the ride-through videos on YouTube).

Next Steps?

May 2023 is the critical month. My impression is that City Engineers are inclined to keep the overpass concept on the back-burner. It is now up to the City’s Transportation Commission to insist that an underpass be included in the project. Public input can help! Please follow the John Nolen Drive project, take its surveys, and email your thoughts to Please submit comments to the Transportation Commission in advanced of its meeting on Wed May 24, 2023. Also, reach out to your Alders to let them know how important the underpass is, so that they are informed when the project finally comes before them.

Weekly Update

Volunteering, Fundraiser, Path Fixing, MTB For Teens, Group Rides

Bike Week Volunteering

Bike Week 2023 is fast approaching! Madison Bikes is looking for volunteers to help with a few activities. We’re hosting a volunteer open house at Working Draft Brewery on Monday, May 22nd from 6-7:30PM. Come hang out and eat pizza on us. Link here for more details and to volunteer during Bike Week. If you use Facebook, RSVP so we know how much pizza to bring. Make sure to check out the Bike Week page as new events continue to roll in!

Volunteering for 2 hours will also get you a “good deed” stamp for Bike BINGO. You can buy a BINGO card at local Bike Benefits locations.

Freewheel Fundraiser

Madison Freewheel Bicycle Co is a local nonprofit bike shop focused on transportation justice. Donations and sales help provide free and low-cost bicycles to individuals in need, while also subsidizing bike building, repair, and maintenance classes. Freewheel was not able to cover operating expenses after the pandemic squeezed their ability to safely keep their doors open and offer in-person classes. They recently had to move out of the Madison Bike Center and are fundraising to find a new physical space. For more information and donation options, you can find their GoFundMe here.

Path Fixing

Lately we noticed a few conversations on our Facebook community page discussing path closures. It can be very frustrating to find what is sometimes the only low-stress route to wherever you are riding is closed (although who doesn’t love a freshly resurfaced path)! It part of our mission to work towards a city where there are multiple safe, low-stress bike routes to any destination. For now though, you can check the city’s path resurfacing schedule to be aware of resurfacing schedules (updated regularly as resurfacing progresses).

Youth MTB Informational

Monday from 5:30-7PM, the Madison East / Lafollette Mountain Bike Team is hosting an informational meeting at East High for students in grades 6-12 interested in joining the team, as well as adults interested in becoming a coach.

Schwinn Bike Drive

Saturday from 12-4PM, Schwinn is hosting a bike drive at their HQ to support FreeBikes4 Kidz. Your donations help give bikes to kids in need! More info here.

Spring Group Rides

Monday evening you can join the Monday 40 social ride. Tuesday evening is looking great for the Madison Women’s Cycling Club and the Slow Roll Ride. Saturday morning is looking nice for Brazen Dropouts’ morning Row Ride.

Saturday evening, don’t miss Black Saddle Bike Shop’s bike ride and overnight campout! Ride leaves from the shop (601 N Sherman Ave) by 5:15pm on a 9.1 mile leisurely ‘no drop’ ride to McCarthy Youth & Conservation County Park. More info and RSVP here!

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Bike News E-Mail Weekly Update

Proposed TC Changes, West Side Advocacy Outreach, Bike Week Schedule

A person on a bike riding on the Kendall Bike Boulevard. The photo is focused on Magnolia blooms that partially obscure the person on the bike, who is out of focus.
A cyclist surrounded by springtime (h/t Cyclists of Madison)

This Week

On Wednesday at 5pm, the Transportation Commission (TC) meets virtually to discuss all things transportation. One of these things is a proposed amendment to modify how the makeup of the TC itself is determined. To re-summarize a summary (what could possibly go wrong…):

In its current form, most of the eleven TC membership spots have specific requirements: one must have knowledge of equity issues, another must have knowledge of people facing disabilities, another must have primary transport mode of walking, and the list goes on. Of particular relevance to cycling advocacy, one must have a primary transport mode of cycling. The change, proposed by Mayor Rhodes-Conway, would revise the ordinance to say that “[t]he mayor shall strive to appoint members who represent the following perspectives or experiences: people knowledgeable about equity issues and the needs of marginalized communities; people with disabilities; bicyclists; walkers; and transit users.”

There is no doubt it can be difficult to formulate a working commission with the current disparate list of requirements, but this challenge in governing mirrors the challenges a commission like this will face in balancing the needs of a diverse constituency. Unfortunately, this proposed change removes the teeth from the ordinance, changing a firm set of requirements to a broad suggestion that can be interpreted in ways that might leave groups under-represented, or potentially outright ignored.

If you’d like to comment on this item or register your support or opposition, you can do so here while choosing agenda item #4.

If you need to relax after all that, on Wednesday at 6pm the Madison Queer Bike Ride departs from Law Park for the monthly, party-paced meetup ride.

Yet Another Wednesday activity, this time in the form of an open house for Upcoming Plans in the West Area. Drop by the Lussier Community Education Center (the third wheel of the Memorial HS/Jefferson MS/LCEC education mega-campus) between 6:30pm to 8:00pm “to hear directly from City staff about proposed improvements aimed at serving the needs of residents in West Madison, between Midvale Boulevard and the Beltline.” Families welcome, and ooh-ooh, there will be snacks, there will! You can also browse a high-level project map at your leisure, from the comfort of your own home.

Last Week

In case you missed it, the Bike Week event list went live last week. We’re processing new events almost every day so keep checking back. Bike Week runs from June 3 to June 10 and of particular note, on Friday, June 9 from 4pm to 7pm we’ll have our big end of week party at Brittingham Park with free food, music, and probably some fun. Mark your calendars!

Last Wednesday, May 3, City Traffic Engineering held a Safe Streets public meeting focusing on Midvale Blvd between University Ave and Mineral Point Rd. If you missed it, you can see the presentation and feedback summary. [Author’s personal feedback: It’s a stretch that I ride often (usually downhill/NB from Sequoya Library to University Ave). It takes a modicum of vigilance and determination, requiring regular diversions into the main travel lanes while negotiating parked cars. Alternatives can be scenic and enjoyable but add some tiresome crossings, a few poorly maintained roads and/or significant time and distance increases.]

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Weekly Update

Bike to School, Lets Talk Streets – Midvale

After a weekend of wet blustery weather, we can look forward to some sunshine starting on Wednesday this week. This is the first week of May when many area schools participate in a Bike and Walk to School event. Walking and biking are excellent ways to build healthy habits, a cleaner environment and promote accessible transportation options. Introducing kids to biking at an early age can have a lifelong impact. Reach out to us or Safe Route to School Dane County for assistance planning a bike to school event in your community.

This Week


Participate in National Bike and Roll to School Day on Wednesday, May 3rd. Walking and biking are excellent ways to build healthy habits, a cleaner environment and promote accessible transportation options. Pick a safe route, wear a helmet and ride to school with your class mates. Local resources are available through Safe Route to School Dane County. We encourage you to register your school or neighborhood event to the Bike and Walk to School nationwide database.

“Let’s Talk Streets” for Midvale Blvd north of Mineral Point to University Ave meets Wednesday, May 3 at 6 PM on Zoom. This public input meeting is focuses on the gathering input about the transportation needs of the community. This is a city wide effort to shift the focus of our transportation system beyond cars to also prioritize bikes, pedestrians and transit. I highly encourage you to attend if you would like to see more alternative modes of transportation.


Madison Bike Week sponsors Wheel & Sprocket would like to invite you to a grand re-opening celebration of their Middleton location on Friday, May 5th from 4-7pm. All are welcome for a short “chain cutting ceremony” at 4:30pm and food & drinks to follow.

Other Items of Interest

Student Bicycle Assistant Job

The University of Wisconsin is looking for students to staff the University Bicycle Resource Center (UBRC). Some bike repair knowledge is desired but not required.

The Wingra Path closure

This weekend a significant portion of the Wingra Creek Path is closed for resurfacing between Olin Ave and John Nolen Dr. The path is expected to reopen by May 16th.

Bike Week Registration Open

Madison Bike Week June 3-10 is fast approaching. If your organization would like to participate in bike week, please go to our Bike Week page to register your event. There’s a short form to fill out, and we’ll get it up on the event calendar and promote it. Classes, group rides, commuter stations, discounts, music, poetry, art exhibits, and anything else you can think about is welcome.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Weekly Update

New Council is a chance to make an impression

Say hello to your alder

Now that alders have taken office, we should feel free to introduce ourselves and offer to be a resource on issues on which you feel strongly, say bicycling and/or transportation in general, land use, road safety, environmental issues, the need to physical activity, etc. 

This is especially true if you have a new alder or there are specific issues in your neighborhood. As the weather gets nicer, maybe offer to go for a bike ride through the district and look at locations that are either very good or very bad for biking. 

Alders can’t be experts on everything, and you can provide that knowledge. Plus, it’s a great way to feel out whether your alder will be an ally on issues you care about and if we can count on their support. 

You can find out who your (new) alder is and how to contact them on the Council page. If you have any questions about how to talk to your alder or point out problem areas, please let the Madison Bikes board know. We can help you make that contact and speak knowledgeably.  

Construction, oh what a mess

As we’ve mentioned on our Facebook Community discussion and in last week’s update, the path that runs along University Ave is going to be closed for several months. Officially, there is a detour starting at Shorewood Blvd, if you are headed east, that sends you through Shorewood Hills and to the north of all the hospitals before linking up with the path again at Highland. That’s a long detour, so consider your origin and destination and see if you can find a better route. South of University is one option.

East Washington BRT construction has that street messed up as well, down to either one or two lanes, depending on the block, direction of travel, and time of day. And while E Wash isn’t used by a ton of bicyclists, the construction has pushed drivers onto other streets and also made a mess of some cross streets.

Ah, construction season in Wisconsin.

The week ahead


Bike Fitchburg monthly meeting, 7:00-8:30 pm at Wheel & Sprocket, 2970 Cahill Main #101

In April we will meet at the Fitchburg location of Platinum Bicycle Friendly Business Wheel & Sprocket. We are grateful to general manager Julien Mathie for hosting us!
In 2023 we will meet in-person each month at one of Fitchburg’s Bicycle Friendly Businesses. As arrangements are finalized we will update these invitations. Meetings will be from 7 to 8:30pm on the fourth Monday of each month except December.


Transportation Commission will consider the list of projects submitted for consideration as part of the Safe Streets Madison policy. Agenda and link to watch here.

You can take a look at the list and also notice how they are scored. Projects of this sort previously seemed to be picked based on which neighborhood group or the number of interested people showed up and pleaded for a project. Obviously, this favored well-organized neighborhoods and people with the time and access to show up at city meetings. 

The system has now been changed to try to be more equitable and strategic, and to try to address locations that will have the biggest impact for the most people that really need it.

Points are assigned based on whether a project is in an area or location that: 

  • Is part of the High Injury Network
  • Has a gap in the bike network
  • Has a gap in the pedestrian network

The proposed solution then gets points based on impact on:

  • Safety
  • Addressing gaps in the bike network
  • Addressing gaps in the pedestrian network
  • Environmental justice or social vulnerability inequities

After scoring the location and the possible impacts of the proposed solution, the combined score is then divided by the cost of the project to come up with recommendations for projects for the new year. 

Looking for a job?

A few interesting jobs have been posted that might be of interest to Madison Bikes members. 

Communications Coordinator for the League of American Bicyclists. Based in DC, but a possibility of working remotely. 

Madison Transportation Demand Management Coordinator Help make sure that new developments meet the new TDM requirements to incentivize not driving and reduce single occupancy vehicle travel. This is a great opportunity to shape travel and help those building in the city to build less parking, have fewer car trips among residents and employees, and improve multimodal travel. 

Reminder: Bike Week events registration is now open

Just a reminder that you can register an event for Bike Week — June 3-10 — on the Bike Week page. There’s a short form to fill out, and we’ll get it up on the calendar and promote it. Classes, group rides, commuter stations, discounts, music, poetry, art exhibits, and anything else you can think about is welcome.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Weekly Update

John Nolen Drive funding; Bike Week; University Ave detour

Our board member Robbie (right) at the press conference announcing federal funding for the John Nolen Drive project

It was a big week for John Nolen Drive: On Wednesday, the Transportation Commission for the first time was asked for feedback on the proposed rebuild of the causeway and the intersections with North Shore Drive and Broom St (meeting video). And then on Thursday the city announced that they had received a $15 million grant from the federal government to fund the project. This injection of money means the project can actually move forward within the project timeline. Madison Bikes had sent a letter of support when the city had requested the funding back in September.

Now that funding is in place, it is crucial that the design of the project takes into account the needs of people walking and biking, and places safety over considerations such as motor vehicle delay. On the same day that the Transportation Commission discussed the project, news reports shed new light on the crash that killed Tom Heninger as was he was crossing John Nolen at North Shore by bike: The driver who killed Tom allegedly drove between 59 and 63 mph (the speed limit is 35 mph), entered the intersection after the light had turned red, and was holding a phone in his hand. We must ask of any design: How will it contribute to preventing senseless death and injury at this location?

You can provide input on the design through this survey: Take the John Nolen Drive Survey. You can find some helpful background in this video, as well as last week’s newsletter.

Madison Bike Week is coming!

Madison Bikes logo with a stylized person riding a cargo bike. In the cargo bike there are two children and a dog.

Madison Bike Week will be from June 3 to 10 this year!

There are plenty of ways to get involved with Madison Bike Week! We’ll keep posting updates here and on Facebook.

Registration for Bike Week events is open now. Some things you can do:

  • Host an event: Set up a tent outside and offer treats to people on bikes, or offer bike checks, or other fun activities! Invite your community, your staff, your customers to come along and celebrate together. Consider partnering with other business or community organizations.
  • Offer deals and benefits to people riding during this week.
  • Host a group bike ride! Do you already run a weekly ride? Awesome – add it to the calendar for the week!
  • Run a non-profit table at our end of week party on Friday, June 9th.

If you are interested in hosting an event or otherwise participating with your organization or business, sign up here:

University Ave bike detour

Detour sign on the Blackhawk Path

The University Ave construction project is entering yet another phase, and that phase included closing a section of the Blackhawk Path/Campus Drive bike path. Starting on April 19, the path will be closed between Marshall Court and Highland Ave. There is an official detour signed and mapped:

As you can see, the detour is not the most direct option and includes high-stress roadways like Highland Ave. Depending on your origin and destination, other options may make more sense (thanks to our community for some of these suggestions).

  • If you’re coming from the west on the path and want to get across University Ave to the Kendall Bike Boulevard, this is best done at the Marshall Ct/Ridge St intersection. The intersection is signalized and you can go straight through.
  • You may be tempted to ride on Marshall Court and then cut through the VA Hospital’s parking lot to Highland. However, that is not a public through street.
  • If you want to avoid the whole area and take the scenic route, ride on Lake Mendota Dr and then take the Lakeshore Path into central campus (but be aware that there will be construction on Lake Mendota Drive as well)

Our Facebook group also has a useful thread for other detour options.

Meet the Parking Utility Manager

Parking and parking policy don’t always get the attention that they deserve. But setting a framework on how a city provides, required, and charges for car parking can have a great impact on how people move throughout the city. Our friends from Madison is for People invited the city’s new parking utility manager, Stefanie Cox, to their Transportation Committee (TC) meeting this month on Monday, April 17th at 8pm.

Join us and listen in as we learn about parking in Madison, discuss her vision for the role, and chat about potential changes and improvements to the status quo. Unlike our regular meetings, we will be hosting the TC meeting over Zoom, so be sure to RSVP here for the meeting link.

E-bike survey

Do you ride an e-bike? People for Bikes, Portland State University, and the University of Tennessee are doing a survey study and are looking for participants. Similar studies have been done by them in 2013 and 2018, and it certainly seems that since then e-bikes have seen a huge boost in popularity. You can take survey at

MTB injury study

Speaking of research: Researchers at UW-Madison just published a study on MTB injuries, based on a survey of members of a local riding club. The main take-away: Novice riders saw injuries more frequently than experienced riders. But the injuries of more experienced riders were more severe. Find the whole study in the Wisconsin Medical Journal (open access).

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.

Weekly Update

Election Results; John Nolen Feedback; Group Ride Updates

Election Results

Thank you to everyone who voted last Tuesday. Local elections determine how invested cities are in safe infrastructure and supportive policies for people walking, biking, or using mobility devices. Your vote is very impactful in these races, as evidenced District 14’s alder race being decided by one vote!

Voters also gave Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway a second four-year term, elected a number of new alderpersons, and approved a referendum to stagger two-year alderperson terms. Take a look at the full results from Tuesday and look back to responses from our February candidate questionnaire.

Transportation Commission

The Transportation Commission is meeting on Wednesday. The agenda includes a discussion of survey results for the John Nolen Drive reconstruction project scheduled to break ground in a few years. Polling from last month showed support for narrowing the roadway as much as possible, widening the path, and improving intersections.

In case you missed it, MadisonForAll has a very well-made video describing the North Shore Dr. part of this project, including frustrations over the city’s reluctance to make any substantial safety and accessibility improvements if they impact driver convenience. The most ambitious option offered by the city for this intersection would increase peak hour vehicle travel time by 35-80 seconds. In the video, city engineering describes this delay as “a pretty significant [negative] impact to the traveling public.” Madison recently committed to prioritizing safety for people walking and biking over driver convenience as part of Complete Green Streets, yet the possibility of a delay lasting less than half of a pop song on a driver’s commute is still described as “significant” in a way that fixing a deadly, heavily utilized pedestrian and bicyclist crossing with no grade-separated alternatives is not.

Recently a new alternative design was included by city engineering that is remarkably similar to the idea proposed by MadisonForAll. The city does not have public feedback for this option (Alt 4b) currently, but you can give it in their survey here. You can also use the comment box to voice opinions about improvements you would like to see presented as alternatives going forward.

Group Rides

It’s Spring! Monday evening you can join the Monday 40 social ride for its second ride of 2023. Tuesday evening is looking great for the Madison Women’s Cycling Club or the Slow Roll Ride. Wednesday evening features the Madison Queer Bike Ride, reach out to their instagram page for details. Saturday is looking nice for Brazen Dropouts’ morning Row Ride. Bombay Bicycle Club is hosting a Spring Member Meeting on Sunday, details here.

As always, you can find an overview of all bike events on our Community Bike Calendar. Email us at to add your events. And if you value our newsletter and other work, consider donating to Madison Bikes. For construction updates, check out the city’s Bike Madison page.